From boys younger than 10 to women in their 80s, they brought the goods.

Bakers from across the county brought in cakes and pies and cookies and bread. All with a banana ingredient.

The open class baking competition was Tuesday with 74 bakers trying to out bake each other for cooking glory. Each baked good had to have banana baked into the treat.

Shirley Jackson, 82, Greenwood, brought in banana bread with banana chips added to give it a crunch. And she hoped that her banana macadamia nut madeleines would impress the judges.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Jackson is a member of several homemaker clubs and baking for others is a hobby, she said.

“I would be making them for my family and friends. I like to give away things,” said Jackson.

Benjamin Holets, a second-grader at Greenwood Christian Academy, submitted banana oatmeal cookies.

He and his mom Jennifer wanted to find a way to spend time together. They found that baking provides that, Jennifer said.

And Chris Wright, 64, Franklin, remembers sitting in the baking contest for a dozen years with her grandchildren and watching the outcome of the annual event.

So, when the baking contest included banana, she decided to submit banana bread and cookies. They are her children’s favorites and offer her a slice of nostalgia to go along with the slices of bread.

“I picked the only thing I really knew,” she said.

Part of the enjoyment of the contest is seeing what other people come up with in their baking, she said.

Winners were:


  • Champion: Sophia Fischer
  • Reserve champion: Debbie Hamilton


  • Champion: Charlotte Gridley
  • Reserve champion: Rebekah Slevin


  • Champion: Lee Ann Roberts
  • Reserve champion: Debbie Hamilton

Miscellaneous item:

  • Champion: Amber Overton
  • Reserve champion: Jennifer Stauffer

Overton was named the overall grand champion.

Author photo
Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.